This article was first published on KSL.com
I have a preteen who is struggling with school and I want to learn how to better communicate with him so we can have peace and love in our relationship now and in the coming years. I realize that I get upset when he doesn't get his work done because I have a fear of him failing and of not being a good parent. What else can I do to stop reacting badly when I get triggered? What else can I do to build a more peaceful relationship with him?
There are four things you must do to get your reacting (temper, panic and anxiety) under control so you can be a better parent.
Understand that you have fears around failure and loss that trigger you and produce reactive bad behavior — and you would be dealing with these issues whether your child was in your life or not. This means your child cannot be blamed for your anger, frustration, anxiety and fear of looking bad or losing control. Your emotions and bad behavior (which do show up when your child triggers you) are not really about them. These situations with your child are just showing you your issues so you can work on them.
Tsabary said, “Through our children we get orchestra seats to the complex theatrics of our own immaturity. They awaken our unresolved emotional issues from our childhood. Nevertheless, because our children are vulnerable and mostly powerless, we feel free to blame them for our reactivity.”
We must stop doing this and grow up, which leads us to the next step…
Whenever someone attacks or offends you, you get to decide is it a cut through water, which is immediately gone, a cut through sand, which might be gone by tomorrow, or a cut through stone, which will be there for decades. I recommend being water.
Learning to live with calm acceptance of situations, lovingly and calmly working through emotions to create what you want, without attachment to the outcome, because you trust the process of life — this will create the mature, loving, peaceful relationship you want with your son. Just keep working on controlling yourself.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular coach and speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.